Another focus of my research is using the magnetotelluric method to study volcanic and geothermal processes.

The PLUTONS project

Supervolcano eruptions are relatively rare geological events and none have been observed during human history. The last supervolcano eruption occured in Sumatra 74,000 years ago and formed Lake Toba.

The Altiplano-Puna volcanic complex (APVC) has been a site of an ingimbrite flare up over the last 10 million years, with a number of well documented supervolcano eruptions that have formed extensive ignimbrites and huge calderas. Uturuncu volcano is a stratovolcano in Southern Bolivia that is showing signs of magma intrusion, as the surface is rising a few centimetres a year over a broad area. It has been suggested that this could be a developing supervolcano.

The PLUTONS project is investigating Volcan Uturuncu with a combination of geological, petrological and geophysical studies. to improve understanding of how plutons are formed, and perhaps what happens prior to a supervolcano eruption.

The University of Alberta group is using magnetotelluric data to image the magma system beneath Volcan Uturuncu. Initial survey took place in October and November, 2011. Initial analysis will be released in early 2012.

PLUTONS Media coverage

Back to Martyn Unsworth's Homepage Page last updated January 2014